Fall is in the air here in Colorado! I hope you had some time to enjoy the beauty of the fall before we had that premature visit from the winter snow. I love the fall for a lot of reasons: the newness that comes with the start of another school year; the change in seasons that gives me a fresh perspective; the chill in the evening air that necessitates a sweater. Most of all, though, I love fall for the changing leaves. What a beautiful process it is to see the greens shift to vibrant yellows and oranges and transform into deep reds and purples.
This fall I've been enamored with how the changing of the leaves takes place. Did you know that nothing is being added to leaves? In fact, something is being broken down. I never knew before this year. When an aspen leaf changes from green to yellow the chlorophyll is breaking down and a new color is being revealed. The color yellow, that was always there, is now being beautifully brought to the surface through a breaking down of something else.
God works a little like this in us. Have you ever found yourself in a place where it felt like something in you was being broken down, stripped away? I can't say that I enjoy that process. Recently I saw a pattern that had developed where I found myself letting down several people I care deeply about. The result of this was hurt and pain, along with a lot of apologies. The things in me that began to break down were pride, flippancy and a chorus of insecurities. Now these things have to go, but that doesn’t mean it is fun. Sometimes this feels a little like something inside of us is dying.
The more I've experienced this though, the more I've seen that beauty comes in the breakdown. Through this particular experience, the Lord has given me a better understanding of how to operate in relationships and because of the grace of the people I love, we have come out stronger on the other side. With the stripping away comes a version of myself that is truer, braver, closer to who God created me to be. The parts of myself that have always been there, become apparent when the distractions, sin or whatever else is stripped away. I find that the pain always seems to be worth what God has waiting for me on the other side.
In a recent conversation with a friend, she pointed out that God didn't have to make the process of trees dying so beautiful, but what a gift that He did. What a gift that He is redeeming even the death of leaves and making something so beautiful. In the trees and in our own lives He is revealing things that have always been there, making us new and redeeming the brokenness.
Today if you're experiencing the pain of something being stripped away, hold on. There is hope yet. God is faithful to reveal the beauty in every area of our lives. Ask Him to show you how He is at work. Call to Him to bring light to what has been lost underneath your brokenness. Thank Him for working all along to redeem even the hardest parts of your life.